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Sunday, October 21, 2012

October at a glance …

We haven’t posted in awhile.  Our apologies.  Please don’t assume that the reason is due to lack of activity!  In fact, the reason is more due to over-activity.  Things have been very full here in the past few weeks.  A brief timeline:

First weekend in October:  Midterm break

Immediately following that:  Spiritual Emphasis Week

Closely on its heels:  Multi-cultural Day

In the midst of all that, we’ve been extremely busy parenting, teaching, coaching, communicating, and attempting to find time to see each other.  Just thinking back over the past few weeks is exhausting.  But God is good – and although He allows rough patches and trials to come, He commands us to have joy in the midst of them (James 1:2), lean heavily by abiding in Him (John 15:4), and be patient as He brings us through (Romans 12:12). 

Mid-Term Break

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The elephant orphanage in Nairobi was an up close and personal treat.  Lots of baby and juvenile elephants feeding and posing for a crowd of onlookers, just close enough to touch.  We were able to enjoy a day in town on Friday, the first day of midterm, seeing many animals, but the elephants were the highlight! 

A word of caution:  don’t drink from the water fountains! We get so spoiled being able to drink the water from the tap in Kijabe that we completely forgot not to drink from the fountains in town.  We spent the next few days recovering. Yuk!

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Midterm break is meant for exactly that – rest. 

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On the last of break, our neighbors set up a slip and slide next door, just a little bit of water, some dish soap & a good hill – the kids loved it :)

SEW (Spiritual Emphasis Week)

On the heels of a much needed and appreciated mid-term 5-day break, we plunged right into Spiritual Emphasis Week here at RVA. It’s as if we were given five days to quiet our hearts and prepare ourselves for the next five days of intense, hard-hitting theology presented this year by RVA alum & missionary Dick Brogden. The calm before the storm.

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Dick & Jen Brogden, photo credit: Live-Dead.org

The emphasis of SEW this year: the 40% of the world completely unreached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the reality of Hell, and the significance of these two facts.  He challenged the students and staff alike to live lives surrendered to their Savior, no matter what that looks like or where that takes them.  He preached a message of abiding in Jesus, spending extravagant time with Him, and being prepared to lay down our lives for His purposes.

SEW ran Wednesday through Sunday, with mandatory chapels each morning as well as mandatory evening sessions. The students were also encouraged to attend the question/answer small groups with Dick that followed each evening session. Rounding out the chapel and evening services was a worship band here for the week from North Carolina. (We had the privilege of housing a couple from the band in our guest room!)

It proved to be a powerful week for students and staff alike as we heard about dying daily to ourselves, about a world that is in rebellion & is perishing and is desperately in need of the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. 

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Multi-Cultural Day

We celebrated RVA’s diverse population of students from 31 nations during the annual multi-cultural day this past Friday.  We began the day with presentations from students representing several countries.  Concluding the morning service was a flag ceremony, in which students from each nation carry their flag one at a time, to the sounds of cheers from the student/staff body.  It proved to be a little emotional at times, as we got a small glimpse of Heaven, with so many languages and tribes and nations represented. 

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Following the ceremony, runners/walkers took part in One World Run to raise money & awareness for AIDS orphans right in our backyard.  A willing participant, Dan ran in his first 5K that morning and finished quite well.  The kids and I cheered the runners on as the route went right past our driveway!!

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Later that day, we were able to host our second caring community group and had 6 students over for pizza and breadsticks before heading off to the staff vs. senior boys American football game.  By the time the game started, the sun was setting and the crisp evening air moved in, along with the rains.  It was a fun “fall” activity for Dan to participate in and it even felt like fall! 

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Right now it’s moving into the dry season here so the daily temperatures are starting to climb into the lower 80’s.  It was particularly special to have a cool, rainy evening for some Friday night football.

So there you have it, a re-cap of October for you. 

As always, thank you for your prayers!

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